Scientists at the University of California, Davis have sequenced the genome of Arabica coffee, releasing the genetic code for the plant that produces around 70 percent of the world's coffee to the public for the first time. The effort was privately funded by a food and beverage company, the Suntory group, and the results are available on Phytozome.net - a pubic database run by the Joint Genome Institute of the US Department of Energy.
Growers in California have begun to cultivate coffee for commercial use, and this new information should be a help to them. "This new genome sequence for Coffea arabica contains information crucial for developing high-quality, disease-resistant coffee varieties that can adapt to the climate changes that are expected to threaten global coffee production in the next 30 years," said a researcher with the project, Juan Medrano, a geneticist in the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental.
"We hope that the C. arabica sequence will eventually benefit everyone involved with coffee - from coffee farmers, whose livelihoods are threatened by devastating diseases like coffee leaf rust, to coffee processors and consumers around the world," he concluded.
Source: UC Davis